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Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer and Windows Internet Explorer, and commonly abbreviated as IE or MSIE) is a series of graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft. It was first released as a part of the add-on package Plus! for Windows 95 in 1995. It has since been included in every Windows version.

Internet Explorer has multiple versions, such as a version for embedded OEM devices running Windows Phone, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile (the latter was based on Internet Explorer 7) called Pocket Internet Explorer (later rebranded Internet Explorer Mobile), a version for the Xbox, and a version for the Macintosh and UNIX. Internet Explorer for Mac and Internet Explorer for UNIX have been discontinued.

On March 17, 2015, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Edge will replace Internet Explorer as the default browser for Windows 10 devices, effectively making IE11 the last release. It will remain on some versions of Windows 10, however, primarily for legacy purposes.

As of 2019, Internet Explorer is discontinued but still maintained.


Internet Explorer's first version, dubbed Microsoft Internet Explorer, was installed as part of Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 on August 16, 1995. It is a revamped version of Mosaic Spyglass, which Microsoft had licensed from Spyglass, Inc. Because Internet Explorer was completely free, Microsoft was not required to pay royalties to Spyglass. This later resulted in a lawsuit, which was settled for US$8 million on January 22, 1997.

Successor to Internet Explorer

Microsoft Edge, officially unveiled on January 21, 2015, has replaced Internet Explorer as the default browser on Windows 10, although it is still available for legacy purposes.